PSALM 23 - PART ONE
The way we respond to our shepherd is the way people will respond to us as their shepherd.
This week we are starting our new series; a study of Psalm 23. exploring God's heart as a provider, transformer and redeemer.
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
This Psalm is written by a King, the ruler of a powerful nation, yet he understood his need for a shepherd. Even where we rule in life, and have areas of leadership, all of us need to be led, fed and cared for by God. What we sow in our developing years as followers we will reap in later years in our followers. Our years of preparation are the preparation of the seed of our future plants.
Jesus is called the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd. If He is my shepherd, then I am His sheep, transformed from the rebellious cantankerous, disagreeable goat to a sheep. Sheep are the only animal totally dependent upon human care to survive.
Even though He is my one shepherd, I will be found not alone but in a flock. He leads His sheep together. Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I am in no lack, and I am also content. Because He is present, my circumstances seem bright, and those things that are unacceptable I rest assured of His divine assistance as I work to change them.
When Jesus is my Shepherd I have a new way of life. The very first point David makes regarding this Shepherd is that He leads us by calm waters. He brings us into peace. He relieves us of stress. Being in church regularly is part of the new life He guides us into. Stress cannot be completely avoided, and he does this so we take a day of rest. There may be a small amount of stress in getting ourselves to church, but it's far less than the stress of a spiritually dead life.
Sometimes we try to avoid stress by living the minimum life. Pay the minimum amount on your credit card, do the least amount to just get by on exams, the least amount to keep people happy. But there is a greater life where you could wipe out the debt on your credit card and live debt free. You could be in church and fellowship at least twice a week and feel spiritually strong serving Christ and fulfilling the great plan for your life. When you think, 'I can't be bothered', be bothered. Do the best. Live the maximum life, not the minimum life.
Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
When I follow Him, I experience full provision of God. Where He guides, He provides. He leads me into abundance by causing me to step into the laws of provision. God is a provider. He will provide for you as He has done throughout all history. We have developed a culture of debt, imagining that this is the normal way of life. Yet the Bible speaks of those who have to borrow money as the poor. Throughout the Bible, God not only cancelled people's debts, He also provided for His people. Abundance has always been a sign of the blessing of God; He always gives abundantly towards His people.
You may have heard it said that, "God will supply only your need." That is not true. He will supply more than your need. Your cup will overflow so that you have abundance for every good work. You are able to look after your own life and those around you. God's blessings come in an abundance that supplies more than "enough".
In all of these accounts, the person first gave, and then they discovered the power of God as He released the miracle. God never said that getting right with Him will result in poverty. It is difficult to find anyone in Scripture whom God blessed that did not enjoy prosperity in their lives.
See you in church!